State Times News
JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of the State High Court comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Sanjeev Kumar on Wednesday constituted a high powered committee to prevent pollution in River Tawi headed by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and comprising Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Jammu, Yash Pal, Scientist of Pollution Control Board, IGP Jammu, CEO ERA and Advocate C.M Koul, who has volunteered himself to assist the Committee as Court Commissioner.
The aforesaid committee shall convene its meeting within a period of one week and shall address the issues, which have been pointed out and have been referred to supra, and shall apprise this Court with regard to the time lines within which remedial action shall be taken to prevent the pollution in the River Tawi, Jammu as well as to ensure healthy environment to residents of city of Jammu. The Committee shall submit its status report within a period of three weeks. The Committee in its report shall indicate alternative dumping site till permanent arrangement is made, so as to prevent the minimal threat to pollution being caused to the River Tawi.
Today when the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that by an order dated July 28, 2017, this Court had appointed Sunil Sethi, Senior Advocate and C.M Koul, Advocate as Commissioners to visit and inspect site of the Sewage Treatment Plants constructed at Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu. Pursuant to the aforesaid order, both the counsels had inspected the Sewage Treatment Plants on July 31, 2014 along with K.J Sharma, Assistant Executive Engineer (Mechanical) Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) and S.S Nanda, Senior Additional Advocate General. They inspected the three Sewage Treatment Plants constructed at Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu and in their report have inter alia recorded that aforesaid Sewage Treatment Plants are operational to the extent of 40 per cent only.
It has also been pointed out that the aforesaid Sewage Treatment Plant was commissioned in the year 2012. Despite the lapse of five years, the plant has not been made functional to its full capacity and another Sewage Treatment Plant, was stated to be having the capacity of 30 MLD per day is not working to its full strength and has also been made operational to its minimal capacity. Sewage Treatment Plant with the capacity of treating 27 MLD per day was stated to be fully non-operational and the entire old city, having areas Bakshi Nagar, Sarwal, etc are yet to be connected to the Sewage Treatment Plant so that the aforementioned Sewage Treatment Plant works to its capacity and prevent the toxic waste to flow into the River Tawi.
It is also stated in the report that dumping site measuring 100 kanals is adjacent to the bank of river Tawi, where entire Sewage Waste is not being treated, and the untreated garbage/waste will affect the health of the residents of the adjoining villages.
When the matter was taken up, Commissioners informed the court that they were apprised of by the Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Jammu, that the area measuring 100 kanals at Kot Bhalwal has been identified as dumping site where garbage will be treated and protected and will be made fit for industrial use and Committee has impressed upon the need of shifting the open dumping site adjacent to river Tawi immediately to some other place, as it is causing pollution and also pointed out that open dumping site is situated adjacent to the Airport, where the birds accumulate in large number which may result in any accident.
While observing that the situation is alarming and river Tawi is virtually dying, DB constituted a high powered committee.
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